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February 27, 2020

Bill Barr Skewers "Remarkably Monolithic" Activist Press as No Longer a Bulwark Against Depotism, But an Accelerant Towards Despotism

William Barr 2024.

Fight me.

Oh, he calls them the "corporate" press, too.

"Today in the United States, the corporate -- or 'mainstream' -- press is massively consolidated," Barr said. "And it has become remarkably monolithic in viewpoint, at the same time that an increasing number of journalists see themselves less as objective reporters of the facts, and more as agents of change. These developments have given the press an unprecedented ability to mobilize a broad segment of the public on a national scale and direct that opinion in a particular direction."

"When the entire press 'advances along the same track,' as Tocqueville put it, the relationship between the press and the energized majority becomes mutually reinforcing," he continued. "Not only does it become easier for the press to mobilize a majority, but the mobilized majority becomes more powerful and overweening with the press as its ally. This is not a positive cycle, and I think it is fair to say that it puts the press' role as a breakwater for the tyranny of the majority in jeopardy. The key to restoring the press in that vital role is to cultivate a greater diversity of voices in the media."

Comparing the liberal democracy envisioned by America's founders to the "totalitarian democracy" influenced by Rousseau and the French Revolution, Barr contended that the latter's "path to perfection is to tear down these artifices and restore human society to its natural condition."

"This form of democracy is messianic in that it postulates a preordained, perfect scheme of things to which men will be inexorably led," Barr said. "Its goals are earthly and they are urgent. Although totalitarian democracy is democratic in form, it requires an all-knowing elite to guide the masses toward their determined end, and that elite relies on whipping up mass enthusiasm to preserve its power and achieve its goals. Totalitarian democracy is almost always secular and materialistic, and its adherents tend to treat politics as a substitute for religion. Their sacred mission is to use the coercive power of the state to remake man and society according to an abstract ideal of perfection."

He also declared that fostering weakness and dependency in citizens was vital for transforming a free people into a totalitarian one.

The crux of the progressive program is to use the public purse to provide ever-increasing benefits to the public and to, thereby, build a permanent constituency of supporters who are also dependents. They want able-bodied citizens to become more dependent, subject to greater control, and increasingly supportive of dependency. The tacit goal of this project is to convert all of us into 25 year-olds living in the government's basement, focusing our energies on obtaining a larger allowance rather than getting a job and moving out.

Political philosophers since Aristotle have worried that democracies are vulnerable to just this form of corruption. Probably the greatest chronicler of American democracy, Alexis de Tocqueville, foresaw that American democracy would be susceptible to this evolution. As he described it, our society was vulnerable to a soft despotism wherein the majority would gradually let itself be taken care of by the state -- much like dependent children.

Barr 2024. Seriously. There is no question at all.

Video clips at both links. The first one goes to Fox, the second to RCP.



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posted by Ace at 06:50 PM

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